eNews: Friday 21st May 2021

From the Head

Dear Parents,

Wow, what a week it has been here at St Michael’s. As we are seeing life open up, we have begun to see a return to events, activities and even residential trips for the children!

This week we have enjoyed Year 4 Roman Day, French Day, three Prep Music Concerts, a Scholars’ Day, and our Years 2 and 3 trip to Stubbers Adventure Centre. It has been wonderful to witness the buzz and atmosphere in (and outside of) the school as our staff and children are able to enjoy these fun events together again. I hope you enjoy seeing the highlights of these events in today’s newsletter.

On Thursday, I was delighted to visit Stubbers where pupils in Years 2 and 3 were enjoying a range of outdoor activities, from grass sledging to water sports and rock climbing. It was such a joy to see our children getting stuck into these activities and having so much fun with their friends. Thank you to Miss Rawlinson and the rest of the team, both staff and parents, for their hard work in organising this special trip.

Yesterday was also a special day for St Michael’s as we welcomed concert pianist Nicholas McCarthy to be the special guest at our Scholars’ Day in the Prep School. Having known Nicholas for a number of years, it was a pleasure to introduce him to our Scholars group and invite him to share his story with the St Michael’s community. During Nicholas’ visit, he hosted a music masterclass with our Music Scholars where he listened to the pupils perform and gave them constructive feedback. I was also lucky to sit down with Nicholas and record an interview with him where he shared his remarkable story with me. Please note that this will be shared with parents shortly and is well worth watching. His story is truly remarkable and will resonate with all. We finished off the day with an evening of food and entertainment where some of our Music and Drama Scholars performed and we were treated to a performance by Nicholas on the piano. I was hugely impressed by the talent on display by our children and know that we all left the event feeling inspired and uplifted.

Next week, we have more to look forward to, including Prep maths competitions, a Scholars’ Concert at Shoreham Parish Church, Charity Day and Year 1 trip to Shoreham. I look forward to enjoying these special events with the pupils in the lead up to the half term.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Nik Pears

 

A message from Mr Pears:

From the Head of Pre-Prep 

As Mrs Leech is currently at Stubbers, please enjoy this video message from her.

A message from Mrs Leech: 

 

Staff News

Mrs Rogers, Prep Science Teacher, will be leaving St Michael’s at the end of the Trinity Term:

Mrs Rogers joined St Michael’s in September 2019 bringing with her a wealth of experience in science teaching. She has made a significant contribution to the Science Department, playing a key role in the development of the KS3 biology curriculum, and inspiring children across the Prep School with her engaging lessons and extra-curricular activities. We are grateful for all she has contributed and wish her every success as she takes up a role in a brand new school nearer to where she lives. We are delighted that Mrs Stephanie Clarke, incoming Deputy Head (Academic) will be joining the Science Department from September 2021.

 

 

Pre-Prep Gold Star Winners

Fadil A for great participation during our music lesson

Herbert W for great imagination when creating his Bog Baby adventure and story map

Felix B for thinking carefully about how he lays out his writing

Jasmine H for wonderful colour mixing and detail in her Bog Baby painting

Thomas S & Teddy G for amazing perseverance at Forest School

Emily P for super effort in creating a humorous poem

Thomas A for making a good effort to improve his handwriting

Aadhya S for great improvement in writing recently

Walter M for an interesting presentation about his trip to London looking for signs of the Great Fire of London

Siena L for trying hard to write all her numbers correctly

Oliver A for great ideas for alliterative sentences

Nik B for beautifully illustrating his quest story

Rayaan G for using excellent adjectives and descriptive phrases in his quest story

Silas C for being a good friend and thinking about others around him

Niamh G for using her best handwriting and writing a fantastic quest story

Ruaridh O for a fantastic quest story with great vocabulary and descriptive language

Lottie E for always participating well in whole class discussions and teaching Miss Salmon something new almost every day

 

Times Tables Certificates

Awarded to:

Silver – Lana C-O

Bronze – Isabel E / Elizabeth S / Harrison T / Rayaan G

 

100 Housepoints Certificates

Awarded to:

Dover – Saskia E / Isabel E / Leo H-B / Luke S

Leeds – Oliver B / Sebastian G

Rochester – Emily L / Bonham B / Harrison T / George W

Windsor – Daniel W / Cayden R-D

Head’s Stars

G Wilson (Year 3) for amazing posters encouraging the use of less plastic

B Hayward (Year 6) for an incredible Dragon’s Den type pitch for a Victorian typewriter

Whole School News

Romans for the day!

On Monday, Year 4 were transported back in time to a Roman Fort in the midst of Boudicca’s Rebellion. With the legions away fighting Boudicca, it was up to the Year 4 children to create and complete a range of tasks such as fresco painting, wax tablet writing, mosaic building and much, much more. In the afternoon, rumours were circulating that one of Boudicca’s spies had managed get to get into the fort and was relaying information back to her. Year 4 acted quickly and started searching for the spy, looking through a range of suitcases to find the clues that would allow them to identify the agent. Luckily for the Romans, Year 4 were super detectives and were able to accurately decipher who the spy in the camp was! Throughout the day all the children were superbly enthusiastic and threw themselves into the activities. Well done to Year 4 on an excellent day!

Mr Morgan, Head of Year 4

 

 

French Day Fun!

French flags, berets and snails could be seen across St Michael’s on Tuesday as pupils and staff celebrated all things French.

The annual event, which sees pupils enjoy a range of French activities, competitions and food, was a huge success and joyful for all involved.

Throughout the school, a sea of bleu, blanc, rouge could be seen as everyone was invited to dress up for the day. In Pre-Prep, pupils enjoyed animated assemblies led my Madame Buttery and former St Michael’s teacher Mrs Beesley as well as fun tasks including an Eiffel Tower challenge for Year 2. Meanwhile, Prep pupils enjoyed form time activities such as watching French films and listening to French songs.

Year 6 pupil E Newton said: “French Day was so much fun. We all loved dressing up and really enjoyed watching a French film called Les Malheurs de Sophie in the afternoon.”

Head of Languages, Madame Poracchia added: “It was wonderful to see so many staff and pupils getting into the spirit of French Day. Thank you to everyone who made it special and especially the Catering Team for making a French banquet for us. We enjoyed some delicious beef bourguignon, crêpes, and 250 garlic snails in total.”

French Day Competition Winners

Congratulations to the following pupils who won prizes in this year’s French Day Competitions:

 

Bake a Snail Cooking Competition

Sponsored by The Cooking Apple

Pre-Prep

Winner: Peter S (Year 1)

Runners-up: Abigail L (Year 1) and Daniel L (Kindergarten)

Prep

Junior Category

Winner: B Hamilton (Year 4)

Runner-up: A Ashton (Year 5)

Senior Category

Winner: M Melpignano and L Blincoe (Year 7)

Runner-up: A Stevens (Year 6)

Paint a Frog Art Competition

 

Pre-Prep

Winner: Anna W (Year 2)

Runners-up: Amelie G (Year 1) and Uma S (Year 1)

Prep

Junior Category

Winner: U Osunwa (Year 4)

Runner-up: M Macedo (Year 4)

Senior Category

Winner: D Singh (Year 6)

Runner-up: E Schwark (Year 6)

Make a Menu Illustration Competition

 

Pre-Prep

Winners: Isabelle D (Year 2) and Daniel W (Year 1)

Prep

1st Place- E Julio (Year 4)

2nd Place- A Lutzow (Year 4)

3rd Place- E Bax (Year 4)

Guess the Sweets in the Jar Competition

Winner: E Newton (Year 6)

Prep pupils perform in magical music concerts

St Michael’s Prep musicians performed beautifully in their Trinity Term Soloist Concerts this week.

The three events, performed in year group bubbles, saw pupils play a range of instruments including the saxophone, violin, cello, drums, recorder and many more.

Commenting on the success of the concerts, Director of Music Mr Baird said: “We’ve enjoyed another series of terrific concerts this week which have celebrated the musical talent we have at St Michael’s. As this week’s performances mark the end of our soloist bubble concerts for the academic year, we look forward, with hope, to inviting parents onto site to join us for these events next year.

“Congratulations to all of the pupils and peripatetic teachers involved for their hard work this term and throughout the lockdown. The standard of musicianship has been wonderful to see.”

 

St Michael’s welcomes Nicholas McCarthy for Scholars’ Celebration

St Michael’s were delighted to welcome the remarkable Nicholas McCarthy as the special guest for their Scholars’ Day on Thursday.

The famous concert pianist, who was the first left hand only graduate of the Royal College of Music, hosted a music masterclass with the Music Scholars, before joining the wider Scholars group for an evening of food and entertainment.

Commenting on the success of the event, Deputy Head Mrs Bridges said: “We were delighted to host a special event for our current scholars, incoming scholars and our Year 8 pupils who have achieved scholarships at their senior schools. Nicholas words inspired all of us and his performance was absolutely stunning. It was a true mark of excellence.”

ABRSM Performance Exam Results

We are delighted to report the results of our latest set of entries for ABRSM Performance exams.  These are examined by submitting a continuous non-edited video of the candidate performing four pieces. They are equivalent in demand and value to ABRSM’s traditional practical exams but have a different emphasis with a focus on performance.

A. Scott

Singing

Grade 6

Distinction

S. Chen

Piano

Grade 5

Distinction

G.Cawley

Singing for Musical Theatre

Grade 4

Pass

G.Owen

Singing

Grade 4

Pass

E. Bakharevski

Singing

Grade 3

Merit

T.Maltarp

Singing

Grade 3

Merit

A. Ashton

Singing

Grade 2

Distinction

M. Blincoe

Cello

Grade 2

Distinction

A.El-Alami

Singing

Grade 2

Distinction

S. Taylor

Singing

Grade 2

Distinction

E. Wood

Singing

Grade 2

Distinction

S.Mottram

Singing

Grade 2

Merit

E. Porter

Cello

Grade 2

Merit

S. Savidge

Piano

Grade 2

Merit

X. Staples

Singing

Grade 2

Merit

L. Winter

Singing

Grade 2

Pass

F. Saxby

Piano

Grade 2

Pass

We’d also like to congratulate L Lattimer for achieving a merit in his Music Teachers Board (MTB) Grade 2 piano exam.

Prep Go Wild Day!

Don’t forget to Go Wild with your outfits next Friday 28th May as we host a charity day in the Prep school for Kent Wildlife Trust and Otford Hospices of Hope. The pupils also need to bring in some money for the various activities. Please note, Pre-Prep children are not involved in this event.

 

Come and see The Elephant Man!

After what has felt like an eternity, theatres are finally opening their doors and at St Michael’s Prep we are delighted, and excited, to say our drama space is once again going to echo with the voices of thespians performing their craft. The School Play is back!

Normally, our play is presented by Years 5 to 8, however the restrictions of the pandemic and the enforced bubbles have meant that this year, only students from Years 7 and 8 have been able to get involved.

Nevertheless, we would be delighted to see all students, as well as their families and friends, at one of the performances. The cast has worked incredibly hard since September to bring this show to you; please do come along and give them your support. We recommend the production for Years 6 and above, although this is not exclusive.

Doors open at 6pm. There will be a paid bar available.

Grab your tickets via the QR Code below, or online at www.ticketsource.co.uk.

Top Tips for Clean Teeth

Please find a useful information guide about children’s teeth here.

Send us your stories!

Has your child won an award, passed an extra-curricular exam or accomplished something exciting recently?

We love celebrating our pupils’ amazing achievements and want to showcase them in our weekly newsletter. Email tusher@stmichaels.kent.sch.uk to submit your child’s achievement.

Senior School Information

Knole Academy

Knole Academy is now taking bookings for its Year 5 taster sessions for 2021. During the taster sessions, which will take place between 22nd June and 9th July, children and parents will have the chance to find out more about life and lessons at the school.

To book you preferred subject session please visit: https://www.knoleacademy.org/463/open-events. Further information about the events and the admissions process please click here.

Please note, Knole Academy has asked that you only book one session in order for them to accommodate as many children as possible. and to inform their school of the booking they have made. Please also book early to avoid disappointment.

For those parents who would rather not attend a Taster Session during this time or have been unable to book a place, we are pleased to offer a ‘virtual experience’ where children are able to take part in a number of Taster lessons in English, Maths, Science, Design Technology and Food Technology.  There is also a virtual tour of our school from our Headteacher, Mr Collins.

King’s Rochester

Join King’s Rochester for their Open Morning on Saturday 26th June from 9am to 1pm. The event will be an opportunity to meet with the school’s staff and pupils as well as seeing their beautiful grounds, nestled within the Cathedral precinct of historic Rochester. King’s is a proud broad-ability School which offers a variety of Scholarships in Academia, Sport, Music, Drama and Art.

Principal Mr Ben Charles will welcome all visitors to King’s at 9:15am in the School Hall where breakfast will be available and after which families can tour the school.

Pre-booking is essential and can be done here.

In The Community

Mrs Grayland’s Half Term Netball Camp

Mrs Grayland will be running a netball camp during half term. This is a great opportunity to practice your skills, play some fun games and develop your game alongside your friends.

The camp will run on: Tuesday 1st June for Years 3 and 4

Wednesday 2nd June for Years 5 to 8

Please email sarahgrayland@hotmail.co.uk for more information and to book your place.

 

Mr Thomas’ Half Term Hockey Camp

Mr Thomas will be holding his Half Term Hockey Camp at Hollybush Hockey Pitch on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th June. 

As Mr Thomas’ Easter camp sold out very quickly, please sign up early to avoid disappointment. To reserve your space, please email Mr Thomas on jnthomas88@outlook.com.

Please note the following from the organisers: We are hoping that all Government restrictions will be lifted by then. We will be following all England Hockey guidelines and may have to limit the numbers. Please sign up early to avoid any disappointment.

Summer Half Term 2021 Hockey Camp Application Form 

Follow us on social media!

It’s important that we stay connected as a community during this time, so make sure you are following St Michael’s social media channels for important updates and content throughout the Trinity Term.

Latest News

We are delighted to announce that former St Michael’s pupil Jess Haynes has selected to join the Loughborough Lightning Superleague Netball team.

Jess, who attended St Michael’s between 2008 and 2014 and returned as a GAP Student in 2019, made her Superleague and Sky Sports debut on Saturday 5th June against Celtic Dragons at the Copperbox Arena in London, after which she was officially announced as Loughborough Lightning squad member No. 102.

Lightning are currently in second place in the Superleague behind Team Bath and have already secured their place in the playoffs.

Jess, whose matches with Lightning will be broadcast live on the Sky Sports Netball platforms, said: “I feel so honoured and excited to be given this opportunity. It has been a bit of a whirlwind over the last couple of weeks so it was great to get on court and make my Superleague debut at the Copperbox . I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season with such an amazing squad. I always love coming back to St Michael’s to coach the current pupils, to share my love of sport and to show that dreams do come true!”

Jess joined Loughborough Lightning U21 NPL Squad from London Pulse in September 2020 when she started studying at Nottingham Trent University where she is part of their Performance Sport Programme.

And it was St Michael’s where her passion for netball began. Jess’ mum, Clare, said: “Jess’ year group team were a strong squad who enjoyed a high level of success at both local and national IAPS level. Jess played all sports during her time here where she achieved a great deal of success across the board . She left at the end of Year 8 to continue her education at Kent College Pembury with a Sports Scholarship. Her place in the Loughborough Lightning Super League is a huge opportunity for her.”

Mrs Wade, who coached Jess during her time at St Michael’s, added: “We are extremely proud of Jess and all she has achieved since leaving St Michael’s. I had the delight of watching Jess’ netball skills grow tremendously during her time with us and it is no surprise that Jess’ dedication to the sport has landed her this incredible opportunity. We look forward to hearing about her future successes and seeing her on Sky Sports!”

A swarm of bees, pride of lions and bloom of ladybirds could be seen roaming the school grounds on Friday 28th May as the Prep school celebrated Go Wild Day in aid of local charities Kent Wildlife Trust and Otford Hospices of Hope.

The action-packed charity day, organised by the School Council to raise awareness of the local causes, raised an amazing £727.04.

Mr Baird, Acting Deputy Head, said: “It was amazing to see so many staff and pupils dressing up for this brilliant fundraising event. A big thank you to the School Council and Year 8 prefects who played a key part in the success of the event, and to the pupils for putting so much effort and energy into the activities.”

Throughout the day, pupils took part in fundraising activities including an exotic bring and buy sale where pupils exchanged good quality toys and games. The afternoon events also included a face painting session for the children led by the senior Art Scholars group.

Fundraising & Communications Manager at Otford Hospices of Hope, Jessica McKechie added: “We were delighted to hear that St Michael’s Prep School chose to fundraise for Hospices of Hope with their Go Wild Day. Being supported locally is so important for our charity and we are really grateful to all the children and staff who took part. The funds raised will help us to support our patients with vital care, some of whom are children too and will love to hear about the activities the school arranged in order to help them.”

St Michael’s Go Wild Day forms part of its longterm plan to improve the wildlife around their 90-acre site as well as increasing the school community’s awareness of the importance of conserving nature.

Delighted by St Michael’s efforts, Acting Head of Education and Lifelong Learning at Kent Wildlife Trust, Lee Mason-Baldwin said: “Wow, what a brilliant effort and superb, heart-warming achievement, thank you so much! We love the gorgeous colourful activities and the fun you’ve had to help animals, plants, bugs and birds which is crucial for developing a life-long love of wildlife. Your support will help us on our quest for a wilder Kent, rich in wildlife for everyone to enjoy, forever.”

For more information about St Michael’s Prep School please visit their website: https://www.stmichaels.kent.sch.uk/

 

We are hugely proud to announce that past St Michael’s pupils L Bingham and A Faulstich have been selected for the England Under 16 Hockey Squad.


The Year 10 pupils, who currently attend Weald of Kent Grammar School and Tonbridge Grammar School were announced as members last week following many months of training and assessment.


Congratulating the girls on their achievement, Mrs Wade, who taught them PE during their time at St Michael’s, said: “We are extremely proud of Lottie and Anna and all they have achieved since they left St Michael’s. They were extremely hardworking in all their sports at school and it is great to hear that they have taken their hockey to such a high level. We look forward to hearing about their future success.”


A huge congratulations to both girls on this amazing achievement.

St Michael’s Prep School, Otford was delighted to welcome concert pianist Nicholas McCarthy as the special guest for its Scholars’ Day on Thursday 20th May.

Mr McCarthy, who was the first left-hand-only graduate of the Royal College of Music in its 130-year history, hosted a music masterclass with the school’s Music Scholars, before joining the wider Scholars group for an evening of food and entertainment.

Nicholas said: “It has been so wonderful to work with the pupils today. The performance standard of the Scholars is fantastic and their personalities came across in their performances. It was lovely to see.”

During his visit, the talented musician shared his story with St Michael’s including his performance with band Coldplay at the 2012 Paralympics Closing Ceremony. Nicholas also offered words of encouragement for overcoming setbacks and barriers. He said: “At my first audition I was turned away because they just didn’t believe I could play the piano with one hand. I had to dig deep and find that resilience to carry on achieving my dream. Very quickly that fire built back up and I was determined to prove them wrong.”

Commenting on the success of the event, St Michael’s Deputy Head Mary Bridges said: “We were delighted to host a special event for our current scholars, incoming scholars and our Year 8 pupils who have achieved scholarships at their senior schools. Nicholas words inspired all of us and his performance was absolutely stunning. It was a true mark of excellence.”

To view a highlights reel of the event or watch the full interview with St Michael’s Head Nik Pears and Nicholas McCarthy please visit their YouTube page.